The younger Zawahiri protests France’s ‘war against Islam’


Osama bin Laden, Mohammed al Zawahiri, and Sheikh Tawfiq Al ‘Afani, as seen in the Al Faroq video on the protest at the US embassy in Cairo on Sept. 11, 2012. Courtesy of SITE Intelligence Group.

Today Mohammed al Zawahiri, the younger brother of al Qaeda emir Ayman al Zawahiri, helped organize another protest in front of a Western embassy. This time he was protesting the French invasion of Mali, in front of France’s embassy in Cairo. You’ll recall that he was one of the several al Qaeda-linked jihadists who orchestrated the Sept. 11, 2012 protest at the US Embassy in Cairo. He’s big on protests.

During today’s festivities, according to Agence France Presse, the protesters said that France was “at war against Islam” because of its intervention in Mali. Of course, France is targeting the al Qaeda-linked coalition of jihadist groups that has seized northern Mali — not Islam itself.

An account in yesterday’s Egypt Independent says that today’s protest was planned by the Salafi Jihadist Movement in Egypt and identifies Mohammed al Zawahiri as a “leader” of the movement.

The younger Zawahiri told the Egypt Independent that the “Islamic Alliance to halt injustice in Egypt” would participate in the protest. The alliance “includes Al-Taefa Al-Mansoura (The Victorious Sect) in Cairo, Ansar al-Sharia in Alexandria and Dawat al-Morsaleen (Prophets’ message) in Beni Suef.”

Mohammed al Zawahiri also said, according to Egypt Independent’s summary, that the protest was intended “to draw attention to what he said was the injustice of France against Mali and to ask the Egyptian Foreign Ministry to provide aid to Mali and condemn France’s position.”

Egypt Independent’s account continues:

Zawahiri warned against what he called repeated attacks by Europeans on Muslims and the interference in their internal affairs. He described the French military action as “threatening of the return of French colonialism on Arab and Islamic peoples.”

The younger Zawahiri did not say anything, of course, about the al Qaeda coalition’s destruction of Sufi shrines, mosques, and other Muslim property in Mali over the past year. That didn’t warrant a protest.

Somewhere his older brother, Ayman, must be smiling.

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.

Tags: , , , , ,


  • Stephanie says:

    Ah, yes, the familiar double standard. Islamists seem quite focused on the specks in the West / Israel’s eyes and completely blind to their own planks. 🙂
    Does anyone have an opinion as to whether or not he has contact with his brother in some way?

  • Stephanie says:

    Mohamed Al-Zawahiri has been pretty active in the jihad movement in Egypt since getting out of jail. I’m guessing he’s probably trying to keep up with that geeky older brother with glasses who went to medical school … it’s hard having to compete! 😉

  • mike merlo says:

    the information acquired from the ‘raid’ on bin Laden’s compound revealed that his communication & ‘contact’ with supporters, colleagues, ‘franchisee’s’ etc., was much more widespread & detailed than many had envisioned(imagined?) at that the time. The “Islamist’s” have also demonstrated a more than comprehensive grasp of technology & their adeptness at using & employing ‘it.’ So it is beyond reasonable to assume that not only is Zawahiri in contact with his brother it is most likely frequent & quite detailed covering strategy & tactics both political & military in nature.

  • Geez says:

    Yes, even the most committed Islamist sword/ax-grinders are probably rolling eyes at the twisted rhetoric. Still, I imagine it’s what they like to hear. A bad parody of an insane parody. It’s too bad the audience doesn’t walk out shaking their heads.
    It would be dandy if he does eventually communicate with his bro in a foolish manner, but I bet Mo must be kept in a cage for AZ’s security.

  • Morgan says:

    I thought Islam was waging war against everyone else?

  • Matt says:

    They like to use the crusades, crusaders it is just psy-ops, it was his dopey brothers fault for trying to fly a plane into the WH, kill the President his family, the VP. The Pentagon. That is what Obama has to remember, that could have been him in the house, that he now lives in, his family, not Bush’s. He would take that personally too.

  • Hasan Hussein says:

    If Muhammad al-Zawahiri was “linked” to “Sept 11th” he would have been arrested and sent to Guantanamo. That he protests is enough of a story.

  • JH says:

    Islam was waging war against everyone else
    Please when stating things like the above, everyone should be careful and clear and precise, Islamic world itself under war by these terrorists and curls sick minds.
    What going every were these just get out of their caves and cages and start making noises, all should united to face these criminals and bad guys.


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram